Every now and again a caravan comes along where it’s designer has been able to create a vehicle without comprise, a design where imagination has run wild. One such caravan was the 1981 A-Line Link 575.
A-Line had been known for quite safe, if not slightly staid designs, that was until the legendary caravan designer Reg Dean was taken onboard and created the Crown range in 1977. The Crown showed that A-Line could build competitive caravans that could take on the likes of the ABI Ace, Elddis and CI Eccles ranges.
After the success of the Crown, the entry level Rambler came along together with the more luxurious Golden Crown. A-Line also went small with the Imp range and added a bit extra with the Rambler Equipe.
It was however with the Link range that Reg was allowed to create his ultimate caravan. Based on the body of the Rambler the Link was available in three versions, the 460, 515 and 575. The 575 Was The only model to be mounted on a twin axle B&B chassis. All models came with hydraulically operated corner steadies, allowing the levelling of the caravan at the touch of a button.
All models featured basically the same layout with dinette at each end and a central washroom shower unit. One unusual feature was a movable cocktail cabinet on casters that could be stored away at the end of the kitchen unit.
The interior featured colour-keyed soft furnishings of high quality and distinctive panelled furniture doors.
For the 575 the kitchen boasted a high level of equipment. Hot and cold water, fridge with freezer compartment and high level oven came as standard as did the control panel with came with an extractor fan, radio, light switches, cooking timer and a gas warning system.
One feature the kitchen did not have was a kitchen window, instead there was a micro tiled backboard. Solid covers for the hob and sink were fitted too.
The washroom was different and used a style not normally seen in the UK and based based on a European design. The washbasin was fitted to a compartment on the offside and opposite on the nearside was a shower compartment. Both area tiled in the same red micro tiles used in the kitchen.
A combination of folding and sliding doors created a washroom across the caravan which didn’t take up too much space when it wasn’t being used. This was at a time before the built in Cassette toilet, instead a portable toilet would be stored under the fixed washbasin.
Other equipment that came as standard was mains electrics and charging system, fluorescent wall lights, individual reading lights, double glazing, full insulation and a flued gas heater. The Link was truly a luxury caravans with a distinction style.
By the end of 1981 Reg Dean had taken over A-Line and renamed the company Deanline which remained in business until 1985. Reg moved onto ABI Caravans where he became their Design and Marketing Director.
The Link 575 was developed over it’s short life until it was last made for 1985 and call just ‘Link’. The 1983 Link 575 came with a generator as standard equipment and the 1985 Link was one of the first caravans to be fitted with microwave oven as standard.
RRP £6080 (1981)
External body length: 5.89m / 19’3″ (internal length not quoted)
Overall length: 7.00m / 22’11”
Overall width: 2.08m / 6’10”
Ex-works weight: 1230kg
Max. Gross weight: 1470kg
Details as supplied by A-Line Caravans Limited, West Carr Lane, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Hull (Company no longer trading)